Master Plan for the ­Cluster
­Plastics and Chemistry
Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – Contents                                  5


1     Introduction and framework����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 8
1.1   Tasks of the Cluster�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������8
1.2   Tasks of the Master Plan – necessity of updating��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������9
1.3   Overall objectives and political ­framework�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������10

2     The Cluster Plastics and Chemistry Brandenburg��������������������������������������������������������������� 12
2.1   Sector structure���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������12
2.2   Research landscape in Brandenburg������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������12
2.3   Networks with relevance to the Cluster Plastics and Chemistry��������������������������������������������������������������������������������19

3     Strategy of the direction of the fields of action�������������������������������������������������������������������� 24
3.1   Opportunities – challenges – framework�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������24
3.2   Further development of the existing structure of the fields of action�������������������������������������������������������������������������26

4     Fields of action������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 30
4.1   Specialist fields of action�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������30
4.2   Cross-sectoral fields of action������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������45

5     Key focal points and guidelines��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 56
5.1   Digitalisation �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������57
5.2   Real-world laboratories and test fields ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������58
5.3   Work 4.0 and skilled employees��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������59
5.4   Start-ups and new businesses ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������59
5.5   Strengthen cross-clusters �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������59
5.6   Internationalisation ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������61

6     Imprint ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 64
6   Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry
1 Introduction and framework
8     Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – Introduction and framework

    1      Introduction and framework

    With the Master Plan of 2014, the Cluster Plastics and                 The Master Plan is based on the Regional Innovation Strat-
    Chemistry Brandenburg focused on three specific fields of              egy of the State of Brandenburg, which will be updated in
    action with particularly high innovation potential and growth          2019 as innoBB 2025 plus and will provide new impetus
    opportunities in the market: “Bio-based speciality chem-               to make technological, economic and social developments
    icals”, “Biopolymers” and “Lightweight construction/com-               a success for the region. The key focal topics “Digitalisa-
    posites”. In addition, there were three cross-sectoral topics          tion”, “Real-world laboratories and test fields”, “Work 4.0
    of relevance to the industry: “Locations for the plastics and          and skilled employees” as well as “Start-ups and new busi-
    chemical industry”, “Logistics for the plastics and chemical           nesses” set the framework for the further development of
    industry” and “Securing skilled employees for the plastics             the Cluster and for mastering the challenges in a dynam-
    and chemical industry”. The results in terms of content and            ic environment.
    structure achieved in the Cluster together with the players
    from industry and scientific institutions have had an impact           In essence, the Master Plan consists of a presentation
    and are based on agreements in the Master Plan.                        of the fields of action with the respective strategic object­
                                                                           ives. ­Exemplary thematic areas within the fields of action
    However, the framework has changed significantly since the             are used to outline current and emerging opportunities in
    publication of the first Master Plan in 2014; particularly the         Brandenburg and to highlight particular priorities for action.
    global challenges in the field of sustainability have continued        The measures and activities proposed by the Cluster play-
    to increase. The structural change in Brandenburg is already           ers in the course of the Master Plan process are compiled
    associated with massive transformations of the framework               in a separate Cluster document and updated throughout the
    of the industrial economy as well as the employment fields             ongoing work in the Cluster.
    of the working population. This updated Master Plan active-
    ly addresses new challenges with the field of action “Mar-
    kets and technologies”. Furthermore, the Cluster is facing             1.1 Tasks of the Cluster
    new challenges in the context of digitalisation. This circum-
    stance is also taken into account in this update of the Mas-           The Cluster Plastics and Chemistry regards itself as a support-
    ter Plan Plastics and Chemistry Brandenburg.                           ing and driving link between industry and science, networks
                                                                           and lobbies, chambers, politics and public administration in
    Both the plastics industry as well as the chemical indus-              Brandenburg as part of the industrial nation of Germany. In
    try are undergoing change. Sustainability is a topic that the          this capacity, it acts as a signpost and impulse generator with
    Cluster Plastics and Chemistry has been working on for                 the aim of actively supporting all partners and securing and
    some time. Many companies and institutions are already                 developing the innovative and competitive capacity of the re-
    facing this challenge today. Sustainability here means not             gional economy. To this end, knowledge and competencies
    only ecological goals but also social and economic sustain-            are expanded in a targeted and demand-oriented manner and
    ability, so that product and process innovations can develop           opportunities are identified for the Cluster players in order to
    their full effect. The new Master Plan therefore anchors the           jointly master the challenges in the industries.
    idea of sustainability as a model for the plastics and chem-
    ical industry in Brandenburg and seizes it as an opportuni-            To achieve this, the Cluster offers its players active, coordin­
    ty for the competitiveness and future viability of the Cluster         ating and communicative support in
    players. In the coalition agreement of the Brandenburg state
    government, which was drawn up at the same time as the                 • the identification of innovation and growth potential
    Master Plan, it was explicitly agreed that all Master Plans
    should be focused on ecological and social challenges.1 All            • networking and development of cooperation projects
    fields of action of the Master Plan will actively address this
    demand.                                                                • the promotion of knowledge and technology transfer

    1	Coalition agreement of the parties SPD, CDU and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, version dated 25/10/2019,, accessed 13/11/2019.
Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – Introduction and framework                  9

• networking the players and internationalisation of the                  the support of the Cluster. In 2017 and 2018 alone, 58 pro-
  Cluster                                                                 jects were initiated, which involve not only regional but also
                                                                          national and international partners and partners from other
• identification and development of synergies with other                  clusters (cross-clusters).2
                                                                          With the campaign “Nachhaltig heute in Brandenburg”
• securing and developing a skilled workforce                             [“Brandenburg – Sustainable Today”], launched in 2017, a
                                                                          special focus is already being placed on the topic of sustain-
• ensuring an optimal logistics connection to regional                    ability. The campaign’s web presence illustrates in words,
  markets                                                                 pictures and video where sustainable management, work
                                                                          and research is already being carried out in Brandenburg
• ensuring decent work in cooperation with company                        today.3

• the presentation of the performance and innovation                      1.2 Tasks of the Master Plan – necessity of
  capability of the Cluster as well as the acting players                     updating
  through active Cluster marketing
                                                                          The Master Plan is a common strategic working basis and
Acting in a coordinating function, the Cluster management                 design tool of the Cluster in the cooperation of industry,
represents the interface between the individual players and               science, administration and economic development of the
committees. The Cluster is represented externally by the                  State of Brandenburg. It lays the foundation for the Cluster
Cluster spokesperson. The Cluster Advisory Board, consist-                work of the coming years.
ing of representatives from industry, science, associations,
networks and social partners as well as the state govern-                 The aim of the Master Plan is to identify technological and
ment and the Economic Development Agency Brandenburg                      application-related research, development and innovation
(WFBB), is responsible for the strategic and c­ ontent-related            topics that are of current and future importance, both from in-
orientation of the Cluster as a whole and the goals pur-                  dustry and science, including the cross-sectoral and integra-
sued in the individual fields of action. The Cluster Advisory             tive topics relevant to the Cluster, in order to then coordinate
Board is headed by the Cluster spokesperson. In the indi-                 them within the framework of the objectives of the innovation
vidual fields of action, field spokespersons are responsible              strategy of the State of Brandenburg (innoBB 2025 plus) and
for ensuring the exchange of information between the play-                implement them with the available resources.
ers involved and coordinating measures for the further de-
velopment of the fields of action.                                        As the Cluster has evolved since the publication of the first
                                                                          Master Plan in June 2014, so has the framework that influ-
Cluster work has achieved numerous successes in recent                    ences work in the Cluster’s industries. Changes in the regu-
years, which are reflected in economic statistics and concrete            latory environment have to be taken into account, as do new
measures. For instance, since 2014, the Innovation Prize for              content-related key focal points in the Cluster industries
Plastics and Chemistry has been awarded by the Ministry                   and economic and technical developments, especially on
for Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy to companies that                 sustainability issues.
provide new impetus with outstanding ideas and solutions.

Innovative ideas are also at the forefront of the research and
development projects that were and are being initiated with

2	Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy (ed.) (2019): Jahresbericht 2018 zum Ergebnis- und Wirkungsmonitoring. [2018 Annual
   Report on Results and Effects Monitoring] Cluster Plastics and Chemistry, Potsdam.
3	Initiative “Nachhaltig heute in Brandenburg” [“Brandenburg – Sustainable Today”] of the Economic Development Agency Brandenburg (WFBB)
   to highlight the various entrepreneurial efforts for sustainability and to encourage people and companies to get involved in Brandenburg in a
   sustainable way,
10     Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – Introduction and framework

     1.3 Overall objectives and political                                     2019 to 2024, especially with a central commitment to sus-
         ­framework                                                           tainability and the sustainability strategy of the federal
                                                                              government6. The State of Brandenburg already has a sus-
     The Master Plan is based on the requirements of the play-                tainability strategy7 which aims to align the economy to-
     ers of the Cluster. In addition, there are overriding objectives         wards sustainable development and to use the economic
     and political frameworks that are substantiated in strategies            potential of natural resources for sustainable regional devel-
     and laws at state, federal and European level. These must                opment. This is being revised and aligned8 with the United
     be taken into account when formulating the Master Plan.                  Nations Agenda 2030.

     The Regional Innovation Strategy of the State of Branden-                The Master Plan is also based on the “Brandenburg In-
     burg updated in 2019 (innoBB 2025 plus4) for the four                    dustrial Policy Guidelines”9, which identify innovation
     Brandenburg-specific clusters has a structuring influence on             and digitalisation as well as securing skilled employees and
     the work of the Cluster Plastics and Chemistry and defines the           quali­fication as important operative fields of action.
     strategic framework of innovation policy and thus the content
     orientation of the clusters to complement the Joint Innov­ation          At the national level, it is particularly the “High-Tech Strategy
     Strategy of the States of Berlin and Brandenburg (innoBB                 2025”10 that points the way forward with its objectives of “sub-
     20255). The innoBB 2025 plus formulates guidelines that                  stantially reducing the input of plastics into the envir­onment”,
     provide for an expansion and opening of innovation efforts               achieving “extensive greenhouse gas neutrality for industry”
     and a prioritisation of sustainable innovations. Cross-indus-            and “sustainable management in cycles”. The “National Bi-
     try, cross-cluster cooperation and the international presence            oeconomy Strategy”11 takes this up with the ­objec­­tives of
     of the clusters are to be reinforced. A further focus is on the          “expanding biological knowledge through research, ­creating
     creation of innovative value chains. An increased use of bi-             bio-based innovations through biological knowledge, con-
     ogenic raw and residual materials in line with a sustainable             serving natural resources through bio-based innovations,
     bioeconomy is also planned. The focus will also be on the re-            combining ecology and economy through resource conserva-
     pair and recycling possibilities of materials and components.            tion, ensuring sustainability through bioeconomic solutions”.
     The key focal points for the clusters were identified as digital-
     isation, real-world laboratories and test fields, Work 4.0 and           At the European level, the strategy “A sustainable bio­
     skilled employees as well as start-ups. A detailed presenta-             economy for Europe”12, which pursues the goal of a sustain-
     tion of the interrelation of the objectives, measures and activ-         able and circular European bioeconomy, and the “European
     ities of the fields of action with the innovation strategy of the        Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy”13, which aims
     state is provided in Chapter 5 Key focal points and guidelines.          at an “intelligent, innovative and sustainable plastics indus-
                                                                              try”, support the efforts of the federal government, the state
     The coalition agreement of the new state government                      and the Cluster Plastics and Chemistry to create a sustain­
     specifies concrete key focal points for the legislative period           able plastics and chemical industry.

     4	innoBB 2025 plus | Regional Innovation Strategy of the State of Brandenburg innoBB 2025 plus, adopted on 4 June 2019 by the Government
         of the State of Brandenburg.
     5	Joint innovation strategy of the States of Berlin and Brandenburg innoBB 2025, adopted by the two state governments in January 2019.
     6	The Federal Government (2018): Deutsche Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie – Aktualisierung 2018 [German Sustainability Strategy – Update
         erung-dns-2018-data.pdf?download=1, accessed 13/11/2019.
     7	Ministry of the Environment, Health and Consumer Protection (2014): “natürlich. nachhaltig. Brandenburg. Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie für das
         Land Brandenburg” [natural. sustainable. Brandenburg. Sustainability Strategy for the State of Brandenburg], Potsdam.
     8   Coalition agreement of 25/10/2019, Chapter 4 “Sustainability”, p. 58.
     9	Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy of the State of Brandenburg (2019): Leitlinien Industriepolitik Brandenburg [Brandenburg
         Industrial Policy Guidelines], Potsdam.
     10	Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2018): Hightech-Strategie 2025. Forschung und Innovation für die Generationen heute und
         ­morgen [High-tech strategy 2025. Research and innovation for today’s and tomorrow’s generations], Berlin.
     11    Bioeconomic Strategy of the Federal Government, Cabinet version, 15/01/2020.
     12	European Commission (2018): A sustainable bioeconomy for Europe: strengthening the connection between economy, society and the
          ­environment. Updated Bioeconomy Strategy, Brussels.
     13    European Commission (2018): European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. COM (2018) 28 final, Brussels.
Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur   11

2 T
   he Cluster Plastics and
  ­Chemistry Brandenburg
12      Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur

     2       The Cluster Plastics and Chemistry Brandenburg

     2.1 Sector structure                                                       2.2 Research landscape in Brandenburg

     Plastics and chemicals are two industry sectors that shape                 The diverse knowledge and research landscape of the cap-
     Brandenburg’s economy and have a regional and national                     ital region Berlin-Brandenburg with its considerable concen-
     impact. As suppliers to many industries, both at home and                  tration of universities and non-university research institutes
     abroad, the companies in the Cluster make an important                     in the field of plastics and chemistry provides an indispens­
     contribution to the global value creation network with their               able basis for a strong location. From basic research and ap-
     products and services.                                                     plication-oriented development to qualification in the various
                                                                                sub-disciplines, the region is home to institutions that have
     Together, the Cluster comprises 13,620 employees subject                   made a name for themselves as teaching and research loca-
     to social insurance contributions, who generate a turnover                 tions on a regional, national and international level and are
     of around 3.73 billion euros in 571 companies.14 The figures               recognised as partners for the regional economy.
     below show how many companies were listed in Branden-
     burg in 2018 with more than 20 employees subject to social                 2.2.1 University locations
     insurance contributions:                                                   Five universities in Brandenburg work on research topics
                                                                                specific to plastics and chemistry and also provide ­services.
     • 32 chemical companies                                                    In addition, some of the universities offer expertise in produc-
                                                                                tion technology and digitalisation. There are also univer­sities
     • 81 companies manufacturing plastic and rubber                            in neighbouring states with which the Cluster cooperates
       ­products15                                                              closely. Examples are listed in the following table.

     This makes the Cluster Plastics and Chemistry one of the
     smaller Brandenburg-specific clusters, albeit one that is eco-
     nomically very powerful.

     Companies in the plastics and chemical industry, ranging
     from regionally oriented microenterprises to global corpor­
     ations, are spread throughout the state and contribute to
     economic development and employment. Furthermore,
     there are the chemical and industrial locations S  ­ chwedt/
     Oder, ­Premnitz, Guben, Schwarze Pumpe and Schwarzhei-
     de as well as the Prignitz region and the Ruppiner Land with
     their mix of medium-sized and structurally significant large

     14	Data on the number of companies and turnover refer to the year 2017, data on employees subject to social insurance contributions refer to the
         year 2018. Source: Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (2019).
     15  Source: Office for Statistics Berlin-Brandenburg, 2018.
Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur                                                                13






                                                          19                                                                   UCKERMARK

                                    PRIGNITZ                           OSTPRIGNITZ-                                                                  11

                                                                             Neuruppin                                         BARNIM


                                                   Rathenow             HAVELLAND     10


                                                                                      C                   A        9       6                                                  Seelow
                                                                                               I     D
                                                                   7                                      3
                                                                                      11            E                  BERLIN
                                                                                           B                           G                                                                       Słubice
                        14                                                                10                                     8
                                                         POTSDAM-                                                                                              ODER-SPREE
          2                                              MITTELMARK

                                  Magdeburg                                                                                          13                                Beeskow
                                                         Bad Belzig                                 Luckenwalde
                                                                         9                                                                      SPREEWALD
                             14                                                                                                                            Lübben                     SPREE-

                                                                                                                                                          SPREE-                  C      Forst (Lausitz)
                                                                                                                                                          WALD-          15
                                                                                                         Herzberg (Elster)


                   Halle/Saale                                                                                                                                  2
          38                       143

                                                              38                                                                           13


          Figure 1: Universities (numbers) and non-university research institutes (letters) related to the Cluster Plastics and Chemistry Brandenburg
14      Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur

     Table 1: Universities with Cluster relevance in Brandenburg and neighbouring federal states, including a selection of their key focal points

      University                                    Key focal points (selection)

      1.	 Beuth University of Applied               Department II – Mathematics – Physics – Chemistry
          Sciences, Berlin
                                                    Department VIII – Mechanical Engineering, Event Technology,
                   ­Process ­Engineering, Laboratories
                                                     • Inorganic and analytical chemistry and services
                                                    • Chemical and pharmaceutical technology
                                                    • Plastics processing and testing
                                                    • Organic and macromolecular chemistry and services
                                                    • Physical chemistry
                                                    • Thermal process engineering

      2.	 Brandenburg ­University                   Faculty 2 – Environment and Natural Sciences
          of Technology                             Institute of Materials Chemistry
          ­Cottbus-Senftenberg                      • Inorganic chemistry
                                                    • Materials chemistry
                                                    • Organic and pharmaceutical chemistry
                                                    • Physical chemistry
                                                    • Technical chemistry
                                                    • Polymer materials
                                                    Institute of Environmental and Process Engineering
                                                    • Chemical reaction technology
                                                    • Process and plant technology

                                                    Faculty 3 – Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Energy Systems
                                                    Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Management
                                                    • Biopolymers and plastics processing
                                                    • Materials science
                                                    • Factory planning and operation
                                                    Institute of Production Research
                                                    • Polymer-based lightweight design

      3.	 FU Berlin                                 Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy
                                                    • Biochemistry and relationship to pharmacy
                                                    • Supramolecular architectures at biological interfaces
                                                    • Molecular research, stereoselective and macromolecular synthesis
                                                    • Biomedical research, medical biochemistry, and structural biochemistry
                                                    • Nanoscale functional materials, nanotechnology
                                                    • Function and chemical reactivity
Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur   15

4.	 Eberswalde University for      Faculty of Wood Engineering
    Sustainable Development        • Working Groups Chemistry and Physics of Wood and madera wood research

5.	 Merseburg University of        Department of Engineering and Natural Sciences
    Applied Sciences               • Chemical and environmental technology
                                   • Green engineering
                                   • Mechanical engineering, mechatronics, physics

6.	 Humboldt University of         Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
    Berlin                         Institute of Chemistry
                                   • General and inorganic chemistry
                                   • Analytical and environmental chemistry
                                   • Organic and bio-organic chemistry
                                   • Physical chemistry
                                   • Theoretical chemistry

7.	 Brandenburg University of      Department of Engineering
    Applied Sciences               • e.g. manufacturing and production technology, materials testing, etc.
                                   Department of Business and Management
                                   • e.g. production optimisation and logistics systems, etc.

8.	 Wildau Technical University    Research field 4: Production and Materials
    of Applied Sciences            • Research Group Composite Material Technologies
                                   • Research Group Polymer High-Performance Materials
                                   • Research Group Transport Logistics

                                   IMEP Institute for Material, Development and Production
                                   Institute of Life Sciences and Biomedical Technologies
                                   • Biosystems technology, including characterisation of conductive or switchable
                                     polymers, investigation of polymer films
                                   • Research Group Microsystems Technology/Systems Integration, including
                                     ­polymers for medical technology

                                   Joint lab: Leibniz Institute IHP/TH Wildau
                                   • Photonics, laser and plasma technologies, including validation and further
                                     ­development of electron-activated vacuum deposition (EVD) for the deposition
                                      of thin, defect-free polymer or polymer composite layers
                                   • Research Group Polymer High-Performance Materials
                                   • Research Group Microsystems Technology/Systems Integration, including
                                     ­polymers for medical technology
                                   • Research Group Transport Logistics
                                   • Department of Factory Planning and Factory Operation with the model factory
                                     “Zentrum Effiziente Fabrik Senftenberg” (ZEF)
16    Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur

     9.	 TU Berlin                      Faculty II – Mathematics and Natural Sciences
                                        Institute of Chemistry                • Inorganic and analytical chemistry
                                        • Organic chemistry
                                        • Physical and theoretical chemistry
                                        • Technical chemistry
                                        with a variety of specialised fields, including bioinorganic chemistry, natural
                                        ­product-­oriented synthesis chemistry, biocatalysis, bioenergetics of solar fuels

                                        Faculty III – Process Sciences
                                        Department of Polymer Technology and Polymer Physics
                                        • Plastics in the manufacturing process
                                        • Material and component development, including natural fibre composites,
                                          ­renewable raw materials, recycling of plastic products
                                        • Medical technology applications

     10.	TU Dresden                     School of Science
                                        Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Food Chemistry               • Inorganic chemistry
                                        • Organic chemistry
                                        • Physical chemistry
                                        • Analytical chemistry
                                        • Macromolecular chemistry
                                        • Food chemistry
                                        • Biochemistry

                                        School of Engineering Sciences
                                        Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
                                        • Process engineering and natural materials technology
                                        • Materials science
                                        • Mechanical engineering

     11.	University of Potsdam          Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
                                        Institute of Chemistry, working/research groups:              • Inorganic chemistry
                                        • Organic and analytical chemistry
                                        • Physical and theoretical chemistry
                                        • Polymer and colloid chemistry
                                        • Didactics of chemistry
                                        • Functional nanostructures
Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur                 17

2.2.2 Non-university research institutes                                         specialised spectrum of expertise in the field of plastics and
The non-university research institutes based in Branden-                         chemistry. In addition, there is cooperation with non-univer-
burg with relevance to the Cluster have a broad and highly                       sity research institutes in Berlin.

Table 2: Non-university research institutes with Cluster relevance in Brandenburg including a selection of their key focal points

 Research institute                                   Key focal points (selection)

 A.	 Federal Institute for Materials                  Departments
     Research and Testing (BAM)                       • Analytical chemistry; reference materials
                                                      • Chemical safety engineering
                                                      • Containment of hazardous goods
                                                      • Material and environment
                                                      • Materials science
                                                      • Material protection and surface technology
                                                      • Non-destructive testing

 B.	 German Research Centre for                       Department of Geochemistry
     Geosciences (GFZ)                                • Inorganic and isotopic geochemistry
                                                      • Organic geochemistry
                                                      • Fluid system modelling
                                                      • Interfacial geochemistry
                                                      • Chemistry and physics of geomaterials

 C.	 Fraunhofer Institute for Applied                 Biopolymers
     Polymer Research (IAP)                           • Lignocellulose
                                                      • Starch modification / Molecular properties
                                                      • Fibre technology
                                                      • Material development and structural characterisation

                                                      Functional polymer systems
                                                      • Functional materials and components
                                                      • Polymers and electronics
                                                      • Chromogenic polymers
                                                      • Sensors and actuators

                                                      Synthesis and polymer technology
                                                      • Microencapsulation/Particle applications
                                                      • Polymer synthesis
                                                      • Membranes and functional films
                                                      • Shape memory polymers
18    Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur

                                             Life science and bioprocesses
                                             • Functional protein systems
                                             • Biomaterials and healthcare
                                             • Biological building blocks and bioprocess development

                                             Pilot Plant Centre PAZ (Saxony-Anhalt)
                                             • Polymer synthesis
                                             • Polymer processing

                                             Polymer materials and composites PYCO
                                             • Thermosets

                                             • Polymer development

                                             • Construction

                                             • Simulation

                                             • Multi-material design

                                             • Semi-finished products, materials, FRP

                                             • Manufacturing process

                                             • Recycling & repair

                                             • Alternative curing methods

                                             • Fire protection
                                             in the groups
                                             • Polymer development
                                             • Semi-finished products
                                             • Design & manufacturing
                                             • Testing & analytics

                                             Center for Applied Nanotechnology CAN (Hamburg)
                                             • Quantum materials
                                             • Nanomedical applications
                                             • Home and personal care
                                             • Nanoscale energy and structural materials

     D.	 Fritz Haber Institute of the        Departments
         Max Planck Society                  • Inorganic chemistry
                                             • Interfacial science
                                             • Physical chemistry

     E.	 Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for        Division Renewable Energies
         Materials and Energy                • e.g. electrochemical conversion of CO2              Division Energy Materials
                                             • including catalysis for energy
Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur          19

F.	 Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht           Institute of Biomaterial Science
    GmbH                                   • M
                                              ultifunctional, polymer-based materials for applications in regenerative

G.	 Institut für Dünnschichttechno-        • Development of synthesis processes for speciality chemicals
    logie und Mikrosensorik e. V.
                                           • Polymers, including synthesis of thermostable polymers and electrically
                                             conductive polymers

H.	 Max Planck Institute of Colloids       Colloid Chemistry
    and Interfaces                         • Synthesis of colloidal structures of polymeric units
                                           • Biorefinery and sustainable chemistry
                                           • Novel self-assembly polymers
                                           • Old chemistry for new advanced materials


I.	 Leibniz Institute for Agricultural     Departments
    Engineering and Bioeconomy             • Bioengineering
                                           • Technology assessment and substance cycles                     Research programm
                                           • Material and energetic use of biomass

2.3 Networks with relevance to the Cluster                              KB – Arbeitgeber- und Wirtschaftsverband der
    Plastics and Chemistry                                             Kunststoff Verarbeitenden Industrie
The companies, science and employees in the Cluster Plas-        The employers’ and trade association of the plastics
tics and Chemistry Brandenburg are supported by networks,        ­processing industry in Berlin and Brandenburg, AKB, repre-
chambers, industry and business associations, trade unions        sents the economic and sociopolitical interests of companies
and other stakeholders with their contributions to the devel-     in the plastics processing industry in the ­Berlin-Brandenburg
opment of chemical and plastics companies in the State of         region.
In addition to links with the regionally active players, the
Cluster also maintains close cooperation with clusters and
networks that operate across borders.
20     Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur

           undesverband Deutsche Startups e. V. – Chemie
          B                                                                Composites United e. V. (CU)
          Plattform                                                  CU (formerly Carbon Composites) is an association of com-
     The association has represented more than 900 start-ups         panies and research institutes from Germany, Austria and
     in Germany since 2012. The Chemicals Platform from the          Switzerland, which are also active in Brandenburg in the
     federal association of German start-ups (Bundesverband          field of high-performance fibre-reinforced composites, and
     Deutsche Startups e. V. – Chemie Plattform) actively ad-        has over 200 members.
     dresses strategic and structural developments. The Chem-
     icals Platform sees itself as a contact for sustainable and
     digital change in chemistry.

        chemie/                                                            VS – Deutscher Verband für Schweißen und
                                                                          ­verwandte Verfahren e. V.
                                                                     The DVS is a technical-scientific association that focuses on
                                                                     the dialogue between all players and on research into joints,
           VP Berlin-Brandenburgischer Verband für
          B                                                          including in the non-metallic field. The members are organ-
          Polymerforschung                                           ised in thematic and regional working groups.
     The BVP is an association of universities, non-university re-
     search institutes, companies and other players with the aim        w
     of promoting, coordinating and systematically developing
     polymer research and teaching in Berlin and Brandenburg.                                          FIRM e.  V.
                                                                     FIRM is a network oriented towards regional project devel-
                                                                     opment and technology transfer. Its aim is to strengthen the
                                                                     innovative competence and competitiveness of research
         CeChemNet Central European Chemical Network                and development institutions in connection with companies
     CeChemNet is an inter-site network linking six chemical         and local administrations in the long term.
     parks in Central Germany.

                                                                          KV Gesamtverband Kunststoffverarbeitende
          Cluster Chemistry/Plastics Central Germany                    ­Industrie e.  V.
     A cross-state platform initiated by the industry and com-       The GKV is the umbrella organisation of the German plastics
     prising SMEs, associations, educational and research insti-     processing industry. In this role, it pools and represents the
     tutes, service providers, politicians and administrations in    common interests of its member associations and communi­
     Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.               cates these interests to politicians and the general public.                     
Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur         21

      hambers of Crafts Cottbus, Frankfurt (Oder) and
     C                                                                  Netzwerk Leichtbau Metall Brandenburg (LMB)
     Potsdam                                                      The network includes companies and institutions involved
The Chambers of Crafts are the partner of their members,          in lightweight metal construction and hybrid components.
the general public and politicians. They support their mem-       In addition to lightweight construction with metals, hybrid
bers in their daily challenges and take up future trends and      components are also considered as lightweight construc-
offer potential solutions, from basic, further and advanced       tion solutions.
training to operational guidance and the application of tech-
nical innovations.                                                   w
                                                                                                              NORKUN – Norddeutsches Kunststoff Netzwerk
                                                                  NORKUN is a technology-oriented network with the purpose
                                                                  of supporting cooperation between research, development
                                                                  and industry and the transfer of knowledge in the production,
     IG BCE Landesbezirk Nordost                                  processing and application of plastics internation­ally and in
The north-east regional district of the industrial union repre-   the northern German federal states. In addition, research ca-
sents the interests of its members from the mining, chem-         pacities for SMEs are arranged, young talent for this industry
ical and energy industries (IG BCE) in the states of Berlin,      is promoted in schools as well as in the vocational and uni-
Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony                versity education, and lobbying and qualified external rep-
and Saxony-Anhalt. The IG BCE is the initiator and design-        resentation for this industry is pursued.
er of “decent work” and fair payment.

                                                                         PlasticsEurope Deutschland e. V.
      hambers of Commerce and Industry Cottbus,
     C                                                            Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Germany and
     East Brandenburg and Potsdam                                 part of the pan-European organisation PlasticsEurope.
The Chambers of Commerce and Industry are the self-gov-           ­PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European trade as-
erning organisations of the commercial economy in the re-          sociations. The association maintains centres in Brussels,
spective districts. The main tasks include promoting the           ­Frankfurt, L
                                                                               ­ ondon, Madrid, Milan and Paris and cooperates
economy in the districts, advocating the overall interests of       closely with other European and national plastics associa-
the associated companies and promoting, for example, ap-            tions. More than 100 member companies produce more than
prenticeships and training.                                         90% of the plastics in the 27 EU member states and Croatia,
                                                                    Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
   w                                        w

     Kunststoff-Verbund Brandenburg Berlin KuVBB e. V.
The Kunststoff-Verbund Brandenburg Berlin stands for the
cooperation, training and public relations of all interested
parties in this industry and maintains contacts to other net-
works and the relevant political bodies.

22     Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – The Cluster Plastics and ­Chemistry Brandenbur

           POLYKUM e. V.                                                      CI Verband der Chemischen Industrie e. V.,
     Due to the important, historically well-established structure           Landesverband Nordost
     of its local chemicals and plastics industry, Saxony-Anhalt        The Landesverband Nordost of the Verband der Chemischen
     was early in developing a stable network landscape, which          Industrie e. V. (North-East Chemical Association of the Ger-
     also has an impact on Brandenburg. A typical example is the        man Chemical Industry Association, VCI) represents the eco-
     activity of POLYKUM e. V. “Association for the Promotion of        nomic policy interests of its member companies. It represents
     Polymer Development and Plastics Technology in Central             the interests of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry of the
     Germany” [“Fördergemeinschaft für Polymerentwicklung und           states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomer-
     Kunststofftechnik in Mitteldeutschland”]. The network aims to      ania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia towards policy-
     increase the competitiveness of the network players through        makers, authorities, organisations, media and the public. It is
     intensive cooperation and mutual support within the frame-         integrated into the VCI network at federal level and in Brus-
     work of a cooperation network.                                     sels. The member companies can contribute to shaping opin-
                                                                        ion by actively participating in the bodies, committees and                                                 working groups of the Landesverband Nordost.


          PolymerMat e. V.
     PolymerMat e. V. is a network which pools the interests of the
     companies of the plastics industry in Thuringia. It provides a           DI Verein Deutscher Ingenieure, Bezirksverein
     platform for cooperation between companies in the plastics              Berlin-Brandenburg e. V.
     industry in innovation and in the implementation of new tech-      The VDI is an association representing engineers and tech-
     nological excellence in the plastics sector. The aim of the as-    nology. The Bezirksverein (BV) Berlin-Brandenburg is one
     sociation is to support its members, to increase their scope       of 45 VDI district associations. In its region, it is responsible
     of action through (joint) innovations and to strengthen and        for supporting its currently around 6,000 members and all
     expand their market position. Together with POLYKUM e. V.,         those interested in technology.
     events are planned and carried out to increase the visibility of
     activities in the economic region of Central Germany.              Working group Plastics Technology
                                                                        The working group Plastics Technology has set itself the task                                              of presenting the diversity of plastics, their production, pro-
                                                                        cessing and possible applications to engineers and support-
                                                                        ing them in their daily requirements.

     POLYSAX – Bildungszentrum Kunststoffe Bautzen e. V. – is
     an initiative of industry and industry-related institutions and    Working group Plastics and Lightweight Construction
     at the same time a platform for vocational education training      Technologies Cottbus at the Brandenburg University of
     in plastics technology, university courses in industrial engi-     Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg
     neering specialising in plastics technology and in-house train-    The working group has set itself the general task of present-
     ing/qualification in Saxony. POLYSAX is your contact for an        ing plastic-based lightweight construction technologies as
     inspiring, technically demanding apprenticeship or a univer-       a cross-sectoral technology to all players through various
     sity course at one of the many companies in the plastics pro-      events and networking them to pursue activities in this field.
     cessing industry in Saxony, as well as for opportunities for
     in-house training.                                           


3 S
   trategy of the direction
  of the fields of action
24       Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – Strategy of the direction of the fields of action

     3       Strategy of the direction of the fields of action

     Since 2014, the fields of action “Bio-based speciality chem­                 already been taken up as a challenge. In addition to the up-
     icals”, “Biopolymers”, “Lightweight construction/composites”,                grading of the companies through digitally supported pro-
     “Locations”, “Logistics” and “Securing skilled employees for                 duction and business processes, the logistics connection is
     the plastics and chemical industry” have had numerous posi-                  a central prerequisite for international competitiveness. The
     tive effects on the plastics and chemical industry in Branden-               connection to international corridors for freight traffic18 and
     burg. The sustainability topics that were already enshrined                  the establishment of intermodal terminals and freight traffic
     at that time have since increased in importance, as have                     centres has significantly improved the logistical accessibil­
     digitalisation and fierce international competition. Securing                ity for companies in Brandenburg.19 Nevertheless, there re-
     skilled employees remains one of the central challenges.                     mains a need for railway accessibility at other locations in
     It is therefore important to continue down the proven path                   Brandenburg. All those involved cite a sufficient availabil­
     and to develop suitable solutions for the new or intensified                 ity of staff as a central challenge for the economic develop-
     challenges.                                                                  ment of the companies. Here it is important to involve those
                                                                                  living in rural areas and to attract young people as well as
                                                                                  those already in employment for tasks in the plastics and
     3.1 Opportunities – challenges – framework                                   chemical industry.

     The approaches to bio-based speciality chemicals and plas-
     tics that have so far been developed in Brandenburg by a
     number of companies and research institutes form an excel-
     lent starting point for the realisation of a sustainable recyc­
     ling economy and bioeconomy. The specific characteristics
     of Brandenburg as a state with a strong agricultural and for-
     estry sector are being used to gradually transform the econ-
     omy from one that is fossil-based to an economy based on
     renewable resources that works in cycles. Brandenburg acts
     in accordance with the national bioeconomy strategy of the
     federal government16 and the European Union17. Bio-based
     speciality chemicals and starting materials for plastics are
     already being produced on a pilot scale and/or industrially.
     New technologies for processing and use as well as findings
     on recyclability should also be included as opportunities. For
     example, the scientific institutions in Brandenburg have ac-
     quired new expertise in the fields of polymer-based light-
     weight construction and functional integration in plastics and
     have initiated corresponding application-related industrial
     projects. Biofunctional polymers, for instance, have been
     developed as a new field with a broad application potential.

     The improvement of the transport and therefore logis-
     tics links between the chemical and plastics locations has

     16  Bioeconomic Strategy of the Federal Government, Cabinet version, 15/01/2020.
     17	“A sustainable bioeconomy for Europe: strengthening the connection between economy, society and the environment”, revised version of the
         Bioeconomy Strategy of the European Commission, 18/10/2018,
         gie-vor/, accessed 26/09/2019.
     18	Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) includes the development of Europe-wide transport routes, especially rail and road routes., accessed 26/09/2019.
     19	For example, the closing of the gap in the freight line between Ruhland (Oberspreewald-Lusatia) and Horka (Görlitz district) will enable existing
         and future companies in southern Brandenburg to have a direct rail connection to Eastern Europe and China.
Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – Strategy of the direction of the fields of action   25

SWOT analysis

Strengths                                               Weaknesses

• High research density with significant potential      • Relatively small size of the Cluster in comparison
  for technology transfer                                 to other federal states, resulting in a broad geo-
                                                          graphical distribution of companies and research
• R&D cooperation in promising areas
• Broad coverage of the value chain in chemical
                                                        • Great dependence of the chemical industry on oil
                                                        • Value chain often not closed
• Good cooperation between private and public
  players                                               • Relatively low degree of networking within the
• Cluster formation and networking
                                                        • Relatively low R&D activities and few research
• Close links between plastics processing and other
                                                          staff in SMEs
                                                        • Lack of unique selling points, no clear occupation
• Relatively high acceptance of the chemical
                                                          of technology fields
  ­industry by the population
                                                        • Networking of universities and SMEs in the area
• Predominantly positive development of the
                                                          of personnel transfer developable
  ­plastics and chemical industry in the state
                                                        • Lack of qualified employees, too few trainees

Opportunities                                           Risks

• New markets in Asia, Africa, Latin America            • High energy and raw material costs
• New technologies (e.g. bio- and nanotechnolo-         • Availability of raw materials
                                                        • Fragmented value chains
• New technological solutions in the context of
                                                        • Relocation of production facilities to the raw
  climate change
                                                          ­material base or to the user industry
• Chemicals and plastics industry as problem
                                                        • Increased competition with companies in Asia and
                                                          Latin America
• Cascade utilisation and joint production for opti-
                                                        • Decreasing supply of skilled workers and ten­
  mal value creation of biogenic raw materials
                                                          dency of academically oriented people to migrate
• Rising demand for sustainable products
                                                        • Low productivity and research and development
• Substitution of petroleum for new materials             activities of the economy
  (e.g. fibre composites)
• Global significance of the industrial use of
  ­biogenic raw materials is increasing
26        Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – Strategy of the direction of the fields of action

     In order to meet the requirements of a sustainable bioecon­                concept of sustainability in order to better cover sustainable
     omy from an economic point of view, clearly defined CO2                    production and material recycling in this area. The new field
     saving effects in the biogenic value creation must be made                 of action has been extended to include plastics processing
     visible. This also includes the cost-effective use of renew­               so that processing technologies can also be included in the
     able energies. Here, designated real-world laboratories and                Master Plan. As cross-sectoral topics relevant to the in-
     test fields20 can develop and test incentive mechanisms                    dustry, “Locations and logistics for plastics and chemicals”
     through improved, more flexible energy cost components.                    and “Securing skilled employees for the plastics and chem-
     The provision of demand-oriented information infrastructure                ical industry” continue to be central fields of action. Due to
     is also an important framework condition, which is being fur-              the close cooperation of the players in the previous fields of
     ther developed in Brandenburg with the initiatives launched                action “Locations” and “Logistics”, these will be combined
     by the state and federal government.21                                     into one field of action in organisational terms. The field
                                                                                of action “Markets and technologies” will be newly es-
                                                                                tablished to detect new trends and areas of potential and
     3.2 Further development of the existing                                    assess their relevance for the Cluster’s players. The tasks
         structure of the fields of action                                      here represent a service and communication function for
                                                                                the other fields of action and form a common interface for
     The working structures of the fields of action are well estab-             cross-cluster topics with the other clusters in Brandenburg
     lished and represent an important success factor in the im-                and Berlin. The interaction of the three specialist fields of ac-
     plementation and further development of the goals set. In                  tion with the three cross-sectoral topics relevant to the in-
     keeping with the comprehensive sustainability requirements,                dustry is outlined in Figure 2.
     consideration is given not only to biogenic production but
     also to the requirements of recycling management and en-                   Digital technologies provide support in all fields of action,
     ergy and resource efficiency.                                              both in research and development and in production through
                                                                                to recycling and are listed in each field of action.
     The present Master Plan pursues the approach of offering
     technologically and economically attractive goals with an
     innovative perspective. For the companies in particular, it
     is important to find solutions that are as specific and imple-
     mentable as possible and that are open to new technologies.
     The structure of the fields of action with complementary in-
     tegrative topics creates the ability to fit in with the overall in-
     novation strategy of the states of Brandenburg and Berlin
     (innoBB 2025 plus).

     In a further development of the previous specialist struc-
     ture, the fields of action “Sustainable speciality chemicals”
     and “Sustainable plastics industry” have emerged from
     the fields of action “Bio-based speciality chemicals” and
     “Biopoly­mers” and now, under the umbrella of sustainability,
     also include the topics of bioeconomy, energy and resource
     efficiency and recycling. The term “lightweight construction/
     composite materials” has also been expanded to include the

     20  Here the concept “Real-world laboratories and test fields” is taken up with the same intention as presented in the innovation strategy innoBB
         2025 plus, Regional Innovation Strategy of the State of Brandenburg, published in June 2019.
     21	The federal programmes, in particular the Federal Broadband Expansion Programme of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastruc-
         ture (BMVI), pursue network expansion. Brandenburg has laid the foundation for the expansion of a gigabit network with the state development
         programme “Brandenburg Glasfaser 2020”.,
         accessed 26/09/2019.
Master Plan Cluster Plastics and Chemistry – Strategy of the direction of the fields of action          27

                                         I. ­Sustainable                          II. Sustainable plastics       III. P
                                                                                                                         lastics process­
                                              ­speciality                              industry                         ing and light-
                                               ­chemicals                                                               weight construc-
                                                                                                                        tion technologies

                                         • Expansion of bio-based                  • Establishing a recycling      • Developing sustainable
                                           value creation systems                    economy for plastic             lightweight construction
                                                                                     materials                       materials
                                         • Further development
                                           of bio- and process                     • Biopolymers                   • Function-integrative
                                           technologies, utilisation                                                 lightweight design
                                                                                   • Functional integration
                                           of interfacial processes
                                                                                                                   • Multi-material design
                                           and catalysis                           • Additive manufacturing
                                                                                                                   • Economic and energy-
                                         • Battery chemicals                       • Digitalisation ­of produc­
                                                                                                                     efficient manufacturing
                                           and electrochemical                       tion and distribution
                                           ­conversion                               ­processes
                                                                                                                   • Additive manufacturing
                                         • Chemical design for
                                           heat storage materials                                                  • Reusing and recycling
                                         • Digitalisation ­of produc­                                              • Material characterisation
                                           tion and distribution                                                     and material models of
                                           ­processes                                                                lightweight construction
                                                                                                                     materials and semi-­
                                                                                                                     finished products
                                                                                                                   • Lightweight design in
                                                                                                                     the construction industry
                                                                                                                   • Digitalisation ­of produc­
                                                                                                                     tion and distribution

 IV. Securing skilled                   • Career and study guidance                               • University education
     employees                           • Initial and continuing vocational                       • Training management personnel
                                           ­education and training

 V. Sites and logistics                  • Funding the further development of                      • Improving logistic links for the locations
                                           plastics and chemistry locations
                                                                                                   • Brandenburg’s location advantages
                                         • Internationalising to support location                    for the economic use of renewable
                                           development                                               energies

 VI. M
      arkets and                        • Identifying and exploring topics of the future via market observation and technology
     technologies                          analysis
                                         • Identifying cross-cluster potential
                                         • Communicating the cluster’s potential for providing solutions to questions of sustainability

Figure 2: Overview of the fields of action in the Cluster Plastics and Chemistry
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